Monday, February 26, 2024

Bleak weather for realtors

Looking Back
Bleak weather for realtors
Muzzamel Haque booked an apartment two and a half years ago, with hopes of taking delivery in May 2012. It would end his stay for two decades in a rented home with his family.
His aspirations now hang in the balance.
The stockmarket debacle that began in January this year has wiped out his investments and ability to regularly pay the instalments on a 1,705 square feet apartment in Dhanmondi.
Haque, a banker, is one of the many stock investors who are facing difficulties in paying the instalments on booked apartments at a time when the housing market passes a sluggish period.
Sales of newly built apartments, one of the main drivers of the housing market, slowed down in 2011 compared to the previous year amid uncertainties over fresh electricity and gas connections.
Realtors said the stalemate in utility connections along with a mandatory rule of installing solar panels in the new buildings is taking a toll on the sector, delaying the process of handing over thousands of apartments to buyers.
Around 16,000 ready flats are yet to be handed over to buyers due to the lack of electricity and gas connections, said Murad Iqbal Chowdhury, general secretary of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB), at the inauguration of an annual housing expo — REHAB Fair — on December 15.
In addition, increases to the tax at source for developers, a liquidity shortage in banks and the ongoing stockmarket crisis also affected demand for new homes this year, said realtors.
“It was a very bad year for the overall real estate sector,” said Dr Toufiq M Seraj, managing director of Sheltech (Pvt) Ltd, which is yet to hand over 200 flats due to pending utility connections.
The sector handed over around 8,000 apartments a year to buyers since 2006, said Seraj.
But this year, the delivery of flats fell by 30 percent in terms of volume, he said.
The REHAB general secretary told The Daily Star last month that his firm — Mega Builders — sold 10-12 flats a month until the month of Ramadan.
“But I sold only two flats after Ramadan,” Chowdhury added.
“We have a lot of apartments to sell. But in reality those may remain unsold,” he said, blaming the government’s condition that mandates installing solar panels, restrictions on using air conditioners and lethargy in providing fresh electricity and gas connections.
To withstand the lull in business, many developers and builders have started offering price cuts to lure buyers and taking a go slow approach in their hunt for new lands.
But the prospect of a rebound in the housing market next year looks bleak in the face of a gloomy economic outlook, pressures from a volatile stockmarket, along with high inflation, and a slowdown in growth of exports and remittance earnings.
“The situation in the real estate sector will worsen in 2012. A deterioration of the political environment will also hurt the sector,” said Seraj, also a former REHAB president.
To withstand fallouts, Sheltech is avoiding projects on small sized lands, building 1,000-1,200 square feet flats to achieve economies of scale, finishing ongoing projects without delay, and importing elevators and generators directly to save costs.
“We want to keep our sales moving. So we are bracing ourselves for that,” he said.
The housing sector, which provides jobs to more than 20 lakh people, feels the pinch of a slowdown in businesses. Many new builders and developers have entered the scene in the past three to four years, encouraged by the rise in sales of new homes.
A rise in remittance and export earning and a growing stockmarket in the years until 2010 spurred demand for new homes, resulting in property and flat price hikes in the capital.
Realtors said the fall in sales in the outgoing year may put brakes on the skyrocketing prices of property and flats.
“For a majority of people, the price of property is too high to afford,” said Mohammad Farhaduzzaman, manager of Eastern Housing Ltd, one of the oldest realtors, citing a huge turnout of visitors at the REHAB show that ends on December 19.
Buyers lost hope when they came to know the prices of flats, he said. The price of a flat is no less than Tk 6,000 a square feet in major residential areas in Dhaka such as Dhanmondi.
The high price of property has also affected the sale of flats, said Farhaduzzaman.
Seraj of Sheltech said the hike in property prices does not match the growth of the economy, supply and demand for new homes.
“It can’t be said that property prices will go down. But it is quite certain that prices will not go up quickly,” he said.
“From a long term perspective, it will bring good results, as what was happening in the property market was not a financially viable proposition.”

-With The Daily Star input

Related News

Shwapno opens new outlet in Pabna

Business Desk : Popular retail chain shop “Shwapno” has opened a new outlet in Pabna’s Sujanagar at Molla Super Market. The inauguration took place at 5:30pm on 30 December, reads a press release. Present at the event were Ahmed Firoz Kabir, Member of Parliament for Pabna-2 (Sujanagar, Aminpur), Chairman Shahinujjaman Shahin of Sujanagar Upazila, ... Read more

Shwapno launches new outlet at Bashundhara

Business Desk : Shwapno, the largest retail chain in Bangladesh, launched an outlet in the Bashundhara area on Thursday offering a month-long discount with a home delivery facility. On behalf of Bashundhara Group, media advisor Mohammad Abu Tayeb inaugurated the outlet as guest of honour at the Rupayan shopping centre in the residential area, ... Read more

With ‘Face ID’ and ‘Fingerprint’ login bKash app is now more secure, user-friendly

Business Desk : bKash app introduces biometric ‘Face ID’ and ‘Fingerprint’ login features to make users’ daily transactions easier and safer. Alongside, exciting new features – ‘Group Send Money’, ‘Request Money’, ‘Savings Marketplace’ and selecting ‘Default Card’ to use the ‘Add money’ service from VISA card to bKash – are also included in the ... Read more

Grameenphone wins ‘Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Awards 2023’ in Financial Inclusion

Business Desk : It was an evening to rejoice and remember for Grameenphone at the Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Awards 2023, as the organization’s sincere efforts with flagship initiatives GP Accelerator and GP Academy received due recognition. Renowned media house The Daily Star, along with CSR Window, honored the winners at the Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence ... Read more

Banglalink wins the best sustainability award

Business Desk : Banglalink has won the ‘Best Sustainability Excellence Initiative’ award in the ‘Disaster Response’ category at the ‘Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Awards 2023,’ jointly presented by The Daily Star and CSR Window Bangladesh. The award is in recognition of Banglalink’s contribution to societal welfare through the innovative integration of an Early Warning System ... Read more

StanChart wins Mastercard Excellence Awards

Business Desk : Standard Chartered Bangladesh has clinched awards in three categories at the “Mastercard Excellence Awards 2023”. The categories are “Excellence in Mastercard Contactless (Issuing)”, “Excellence in Mastercard Credit Business (International)”, and “Excellence in Mastercard Business (Innovation)”. Naser Ezaz Bijoy, chief executive officer of the multinational bank, received an award from Atiur Rahman, ... Read more

Nagad wins Mastercard Excellence Award 2023

Business Desk : Nagad, a popular mobile financial service provider in Bangladesh, has clinched “Mastercard Excellence Award” 2023 for its contribution to credit card bill payments. The mobile money carrier has been honoured with this prestigious award as the “Master Evolution”, reads a press release. On behalf of his company, Nagad’s Executive Director Maruful ... Read more

Prime Bank clinches Mastercard Excellence Awards 2023

Business Desk : Prime Bank PLC, a leading private commercial bank of the country, has won Mastercard Excellence Awards 2023 for Debit Business (Domestic) category. Nazeem A Choudhury, deputy managing director of the bank, and Masudul Haque Bhuiyan, head of Cards & Alternative Delivery Channel, received the award from Dr Atiur Rahman, former governor ... Read more

Zakia Rouf Chowdhury elected as vice chairman of Bank Asia

Business Desk : Zakia Rouf Chowdhury has been elected as Vice Chairman of Bank Asia Limited recently at the 508th meeting of the Board of Directors of the bank. She has an illustrious business career of more than 35 years in the private sector of Bangladesh. Since inception, she has been holding leadership positions ... Read more

Yamaha celebrates 7 years with ACI Motors

Business Desk : ACI Marts is the sole distributor and technical collaboration partner of Yamaha motorcycles in Bangladesh. ACI Motors started its journey in 2007 as a subsidiary of renowned company ACI Limited. In 2016, Yamaha started a new journey in Bangladesh with ACI Motors. At present, more than 116 Yamaha 3S (Sales, Service ... Read more

Walton boosts TV exports to Denmark, Ireland

Business Desk : Bangladeshi global electronics brand Walton has boosted up its exports of television to Denmark, Ireland and other European countries as the demand of Walton television goes high in those countries in recent times, according to a press release. Walton Global Business Unit’s Vice-President Syed Al Imran said that Walton has been ... Read more

Mutual Trust Bank launches privilege centres in Dhaka

Business Desk : Mutual Trust Bank Ltd recently launched its two revamped privilege centres in Dhanmondi and Uttara celebrating “MTB Retail Fest 2023”. Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director and CEO of the bank, inaugurated the centres as the chief guest, said a press release. Privilege Banking customers enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits, ... Read more

Prime Bank Investment launches PrimeInvest

Business Desk : Prime Bank Investment Ltd (PBIL), a subsidiary of Prime Bank, launched PrimeInvest, a comprehensive discretionary product suite that aims to foster access to investment for individuals and institutional investors. CQK Mustaq Ahmed, chairman of PBIL, inaugurated the product at its head office in Banani in the capital, said a press release. ... Read more

Midland Bank strikes deal with Bangladesh Bank

Business Desk : Midland Bank Ltd recently signed a participation agreement with the Financial Sector Support and Strategic Planning Department (FSSSPD) of the Bangladesh Bank for availing refinance facility in US dollars. Liza Fahmida, director of the BB department, and Md Ahsan-uz Zaman, managing director of Midland Bank, inked the deal at the BB ... Read more

National Bank signs deal with Bangladesh Bank

Business Desk : National Bank Ltd has signed an agreement on “Financial Inclusion Credit Guarantee Scheme” with Bangladesh Bank, aiming to boost financing to cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSME). Manoj Kumar Howlader, director of the credit guarantee department of the central bank, and Md Mehmood Husain, managing director and CEO of National ... Read more

foodpanda and Toffee: Doubling Up on Benefits for Customers

Business Desk : foodpanda Bangladesh partnered with Toffee of Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd, a digital streaming entertainment app, to enhance the experience of Toffee subscribers by offering them exclusive foodpanda discount vouchers. An agreement has been signed between Toffee and foodpanda on this partnership on Thursday, reads a press release. Through this partnership, any ... Read more

US-Bangla gets recognition of IATA

Business Desk : US-Bangla Airlines, one of the largest airlines in Bangladesh, has become the first domestic private airline to be recognised as an International Air Transport Association (IATA) airline. By 2023, 18 airlines in the world have achieved accreditation as IATA Airlines, among which US-Bangla is one, reads a press release. Although several ... Read more

Emirates crowned as 2024 APEX World Class Airline

Business Desk : Having mastered the guest experience and providing exceptional customer service, Emirates was recently named a 2024 APEX World Class Airline winner at the 2024 APEX/IFSA Awards, held in Long Beach, California. Emirates is one of just eight airlines globally to achieve this accolade, reads a press release. Emirates also received a ... Read more

LAYS launches campaign with Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar and Taskin Ahmed Tazim

Business Desk : Lay’s, one of the world’s most loved potato chip brands under the PepsiCo umbrella, has launched an engaging campaign featuring Bangladesh cricket stars Shakib Al Hasan, Taskin Ahmed and Soumya Sarkar as its brand ambassadors. Together, this dynamic trio will play essential roles in the upcoming Lay’s campaigns, endorsing the brand ... Read more

1,000 can win bKash World Cup Quiz everyday

Business Desk : A thousand winners can get Tk50 each everyday by participating in the bKash World Cup quiz. By answering 3 simple cricket related questions in the shortest possible time and making a transaction through bKash app one can win the prize. The quiz competition will continue till October 25, reads a press ... Read more